By John Anderson
When the last child leaves Pakachoag Acres Day Care Center on Jerome Ave. tonight, that facility will be closed. On Monday, March 21st, the doors will open at 141 Auburn St, and the Commonwealth will transfer the license to operate a day care center. After a year of site work and construction, the Town of Auburn issued an Occupancy Permit on Wednesday, so this massive and impressive project is a reality.
Executive Director Joe Martin told Auburn Mass Daily that the original Pakachoag Acres began after the depression in the 1930’s and was critical to families during World War II when so many fathers were serving their country and mothers worked to support the war effort.
Joe Martin’s parents, Joe and Sandy, bought the Jerome Ave. business in 1972 when 2 classrooms were used as a nursery school. The younger Joe admitted he wanted nothing to do with the business and pursued accounting at QCC and Nichols. In 1989, he was running a home inspection business when his parents were desperate for help. They only needed him for one week, so he complied. Joe got hooked.
Over the last 26 years, Joe Martin and the Pakachoag Acres team have made this business a great success. When his parents retired in 2005, Joe took over the operation. The demand for childcare is high, and the Jerome Ave. facility was busting at the seams and turning away potential clients. There is also a Millbury location, and each site currently has 58 children.
On Monday, 72 children should be showing up on Auburn St. and there are already wait lists in some age groups. When totally completed, the center will be able to care for 90-100 youngsters, and this building is totally for kids. Along with every imaginable safety device, everything from paint to furniture to flooring is free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) so the air is clean and safe. Pakachoag Acres is also nationally accredited.
A ribbon cutting was held last Saturday to celebrate the opening and was followed by a very successful open house for the public. Town Manager Julie Jacobson, Select Board Vice-Chairman Doreen Goodrich, Senator Michael Moore and Representative Paul Frost all participated. Retired owners Joe and Sandy Martin were also present along with their son Joe and his wife Tricia. Granddaughter Emma Martin cut the ribbon to open the building. Congratulations!